Why Should Kids Learn About Fair Trade?
Many people feel that we as humans are a global community, and should work together to protect the earth, rather than exploiting our natural resources─and they share these ideas with their children. For example, eco-conscious parents often teach their kids about recycling at a young age, and why it’s important. Or how living “green” on a daily basis can help make the world a better place. Some parents even take their children to visit other countries to observe firsthand that not all families live as we do in the United States.
Teaching children about fair trade falls right within these lines, because it helps to shape their values and creates a more expansive lens for seeing the world. Parents and teachers often find that the more kids learn about fair trade, the more they agree it makes sense. And they start to see how their actions─even something as simple as a buying a candy bar─impact others on a larger scale.
Many organizations are helping kids learn more about fair trade and how they can be more compassionate global citizens. One example is Equal Exchange, which has created Big Change for over 25 years. Equal Exchange founders envisioned a trade model that values farmers and consumers, and has worked ever since to find new and powerful ways to build a better food system through fair trade. Part of their efforts include creating educational resources for kids.
In response to numerous requests from parents and teachers, Equal Exchange introduced one of the first comprehensive Fair Trade curricula in the U.S. “Win Win Solutions: An Introduction to Fair Trade and Cooperative Economics” is designed for grades 4 through 9 and raises awareness of core issues concerning food production and global trade, and of the role of American consumers.
Composed of four units, this interdisciplinary educational resource raises students’ awareness of the core issues surrounding food production and trade, providing a link between personal actions and community efforts that create a more just and sustainable world. Learn more here: Equal Exchange Introduces Comprehensive Fair Trade Curriculum
The Fair Trade Resource Network is another organization making great strides in teaching kids about fair trade. Find great educational tools here: http://www.fairtraderesource.org and an array of cool children’s books that make learning about fair trade fun through beautifully illustrated stories here: http://www.fairtraderesource.org/learn-up/recommended-reading/#family
The more kids learn at a young age to care about our natural environment, the better off we’ll all be. After all, it’s their planet too!